His daughter reported on Instagram that the legendary football player Pele had died on Thursday in Sao Paulo from cancer.
In September of 2021, Pele had a tumour removed from his colon and has been undergoing regular treatment ever since. The life of King Pelé, who died away tonight in peace, was distinguished by inspiration and love. “Love, love, and love, forever,” the Brazil legend’s family said in a statement.
Pele holds the record for most goals scored by a Brazilian player with 77 in 92 matches. Pele, often known as the Black Pearl, won one Ballon d’Or, set a record by winning three World Cups, and scored 1,283 goals in his professional career.
At the age of 17, he made his international debut at the 1958 World Cup, where he helped lead Brazil to its first World Cup victory. Pele was only able to play half a game in both the 1962 and 1966 World Cups due to injuries; after being violently hacked by a group opponent, Portugal, Pele was forced to leave the 1966 tournament on a stretcher and vowed never to play in another World Cup again. Brazil retained the cup in 1962.
Fortunately, he changed his mind in time for Mexico in 1970, and his bright yellow jersey was included in the first-ever colour broadcast of the World Cup. Brazil fielded what was perhaps its best team ever and won its third World Cup in dominant fashion.
During the course of the tournament, Pele scored four times and is best remembered for laying on the last pass in a magical sequence that culminated in a sweeping finish by Carlos Alberto.
Pele also had three of the most infamous missed goals in soccer history: a lob from inside his own half against Czechoslovakia, a header that prompted England goalkeeper Gordon Banks to make the “save of the century,” and a dummy-cum run-around that fooled Uruguay goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz in the semifinals before the great man’s shot rolled past the wrong side of the post. Pele left professional soccer in 1977.
Pele had told the Brazil team, “Today we start writing a new tale,” before the World Cup even began. More than 200 million people will be cheering as one for our ‘Selecao,’ and the ground will shake with each victory.
Each game is a final, and we must treat it as such. It is vital to leave everything on the field, therefore a great performance is important but not more so than leaving nothing. I hope these images may serve as motivation for you… I wish nothing but good things for you. We’ll have a happy ending, I’m sure of it. Thank God for you. Take this honour back to the house with you.
After losing to Croatia in a penalty shootout in the quarterfinals, Brazil was eliminated from the tournament.
Although they never played against one another, Pele and the Argentine great Diego Maradona sometimes competed for the title of the greatest footballer of all time.
The Brazilian Pele was selected by a panel of experts, while the Argentine Maradona was voted the finest player of the 20th century by fans. This honour was shared by both players in 2000. By 2020, Maradona had reached the age of 60 when he suddenly passed away from a heart arrest.